OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) - Demolition began Monday on the future site of the Cincinnati Streetcar's Maintenance & Operations Facility (MOF).
Two vacant buildings in Over-the-Rhine are being torn down at the corner of Henry and Race streets for the new "streetcar barn."
City officials say demolition is expected to last about six weeks. Messer/Prus/Delta Railroad has been hired as the construction contractor for the project.
"People ask me all the time, 'Is the Streetcar happening?'" Mayor Mark Mallory said. "Let me be clear: The streetcar is happening. You can see it happening here today."
Once complete, the MOF will be a 12,500 square-foot facility with two tracks and room for expansion as the system grows. City officials say this $11.9 million facility will be able to hold up to 12 vehicles, and the building will also contain the operational staff's offices.
The City's Historic Conservation board approved the demolition and the new building's designs.
The Streetcar's MOF should be completed in March 2015.
"They say the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The Cincinnati Streetcar, connecting the Riverfront and Findlay Market, will be that single step that will connect the city's two largest employment centers and spur development along the route," Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls said.
The first streetcar line from The Banks to Findlay Market will be open for passenger service in Spring 2016.